IJG  Vol.4 No.10 , December 2013
Biosphere Reserve as a Learning Tourism Destination: Approaches from Tasik Chini

Biosphere Reserves (BR) are special areas or regions highly recognized for their conservation, logistic functions and sustainable development initiatives. However, not much work has explored into the BRs’ roles or functions as tourism learning destination, especially during the early years of their recognition as BR. This article aims to identify the mechanism utilised in the learning tourism function at Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve since its inception in 2009 to the present year of 2013. The results reveal that learning of science and culture of the locals are the two-tier perspectives utlised in conceptualizing a tourism learning destination. Activities introduced in the specific themes of The Sustainability of Tropical Heritage fulfils the fundamental need of deep learning of scientific research and learning of the BR’s ecosystem, while the Ecosystem Health fulfils both deep and surface learning of the young visitors. The cultural knowledge of the community, on the other hand, offers a unique and authentic experience to the learners or visitors. As a learning tourism destination, the learning community, nevertheless, expects that the standard of tourism services should not be marginalised and must meet the high standard of tourism services. It is imperative that the science of Biosphere Reserve and the local culture are linked to set a holistic foundation in the creation of the learning programmes at the Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve.

Cite this paper
A. Habibah, I. Mushrifah, J. Hamzah, A. Buang, M. Toriman, S. Abdullah, K. Amirah, Z. Farahin and A. Er, "Biosphere Reserve as a Learning Tourism Destination: Approaches from Tasik Chini," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 10, 2013, pp. 1447-1458. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.410142.
[1]   UNESCO, “The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme,” 2012.

[2]   UNESCO, “UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: Learning Laboratories for Sustainable Development,” 2007.

[3]   N. Ishwaran, “Science in Intergovernmental Environmental Relations: 40 Years of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and Its Future,” Environmental Development, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, pp. 91-101.

[4]   N. Ishwaran, A. Persic and N. H. Tri, “Concept and Practice: The Case of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves,” International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2008, pp. 118-131.

[5]   D. Kusová, J. Těsitel, K. Matějka and M. Bartos, “Biosphere Reserves—An Attempt to Form Sustainable Landscapes: A Case Study of Three Biosphere Reserves in the Czech Republic,” Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 84, No 1, 2008, pp. 38-51.

[6]   J. Kriesel, “Education for Sustainable Development in the Biosphere Reserves Schaalsee, Germany, and Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden,” Diploma Thesis, University of Greifswald, 2011.
angew_geo/Diplomarbeiten/Janin_Kriesel _Diplomar beit_ BNE.pdf

[7]   Y. Luo and J. Deng, “The New Environmental Paradigm and Nature-Based Tourism Motivation,” Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2008, pp. 392-402.

[8]   M. Batisse, “Biosphere Reserves, a Challenge for Biodiversity Conservation and Regional Development,” Environment, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1997, pp. 7-33.

[9]   J. J. Kay, H. Regier, M. Boyle and G. R. Francis, “An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainability: Addressing the Challenge of Complexity,” Futures, Vol. 31, No. 7, 1999, pp. 721-742.

[10]   C. Canning, “Conservation and Local Communities: Exploring the Upper Bay of Fundy Biosphere Reserve Initiative in Nova Scotia,” 2005.
http://www.bofep.org/PDFfiles/Caroline_Canning_Final_ 20Thesis.pdf

[11]   L. Kruse-Graumann, “Education for Sustainable Development in German Biosphere Reserves,” 2007.

[12]   J. N. Pretty, I. Guijt, J. Thompson and I. Scoones, “Participatory Learning and Action: A Trainer’s Guide,” IIED, London, 1995.

[13]   M. F. Price, “The Periodic Review of Biosphere Reserves: A Mechanism to Foster Sites of Excellence for Conservation and Sustainable Development,” Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2002, pp. 13-18.

[14]   D. McCarthy, G. Whitelaw, P. Jongerden and B. Craig, “Sustainability, Social Learning and the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve,” Environments Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2006, pp. 1 -15.

[15]   J. Tippett, B. Searle, C. Pahl-Wostl and Y. Rees, “Social Learning in Public Participation in River Basin Management-Early Findings from Harmony COP European Case Studies,” Environmental Science and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2005, pp. 287-299.

[16]   T. Van Mai and O. J. H. Bosch, “Systems Thinking Approach as a Unique Tool for Sustainable Tourism Development: A Case Study in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve of Vietnam,” 2010.

[17]   N. C. Nguyen, O. J. H Bosch and K. E. Maani, “The Importance of Systems Thinking and Practice for Creating Biosphere Reserves as Learning Laboratories for Sustainable Development,” 2009.

[18]   K. Schianetz, L. Kavanagh and D. Lockington, “The Learning Tourism Destination: The Potential of a Learning Organisation Approach for Improving the Sustainability of Tourism Destinations,” Tourism Management, Vol. 28, No. 6, 2007, pp. 1485-1496.

[19]   K Schianetz, J. Tod, L. Kavanagh, P. A. Walker, D. Lockington and D. Wood, “The Practicalities of a Learning Tourism Destination: A Case Study of the Ningaloo Coast,” International Journal of Tourism Research, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2009, pp. 567-581.

[20]   H. Gibson, “The Educational Tourist,” Journal of Phvsical Education, Recreation and Dance, Vol. 69, No. 4, 1998, pp. 32-34.

[21]   A. Holdnak and S. Holland, “Edutourism: Vacationing to Learn,” Parks and Recreation, Vol. 31, No. 9, 1996, pp. 72-75.

[22]   Ministry of British Colombia, “The Environmental Learning and Experience. Curriculum Map Environment and Sustainability across Bc’s K-12 Curric,” 2009.

[23]   S. De la Barre, “Learning Travel Product Development Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide for Yukon and Northern Entrepreneurs, North to Knowledge (N2K), Whitehorse, Yukon,” 2005.

[24]   M. Flitner, U. Matthes, G. Oesten and A. Roeder, “The Ecosystem Approach in Forest Biosphere Reserves: Results from Three Case Studies,” Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg, Freiburg, 2006.

[25]   H. L. Ballard, M. E. Fernandez-Gimenez and V. E. Sturtevant, “Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge and Conventional Science: A Study of Seven Community-Based Forestry Organizations in The USA,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2008, p. 37.

[26]   G. E. Yates, T. V. Stein and M. S. Wyman, “Factors for Collaboration in Florida’s Tourism Resources: Shifting Gears from Participatory Planning to Community-Based Management,” Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 97, 2010, pp. 213-220.

[27]   C. Lashley and P. Barron, “The Learning Style Preferences of Hospitality and Tourism Students: Observations from an International and Cross-Cultural Study,” International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2006, pp. 552-569.

[28]   J. Purkayastha, S. C. Nath and M. Islam, “Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants from Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve of Northeast India,” Fitoterapia, Vol. 76, No. 1, 2005, pp. 121-127.

[29]   K. S. Rao, R. K. Maikhuri, S. Nautiyal and K. G. Saxena, “Crop Damage and Livestock Depredation by Wildlife: A Case Study from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 66, No. 1, 2002, pp. 317-327.

[30]   S. K., Singh, J. P. N. Rai and A. Singh, “Influence of Prevailing Disturbances on Soil Biology And Biochemistry of Montane Habitats at Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR), India During Wet and Dry Seasons,” Geoderma, Vol. 162, No. 3-4, 2011, pp. 296-302.

[31]   D. Manuel-Navarrete, S. Slocombe and B. Mitchell, “Science for Place-Based Socioecological Management: Lessons from the Maya Forest (Chiapas and Petén),” Ecology and Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2006, p. 8.
http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/ vol 11/ iss1/ art8/

[32]   G. Francis and G. Whitelaw, “Biosphere Reserves in Canada: Exploring Ideals and Experience,” Environment, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2004, pp. 61-78.

[33]   V. Christidou, “Interest, Attitudes and Images Related to Science: Combining Students’ Voices with the Voices of School Science, Teachers, and Popular Science,” International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2011, pp. 141-159.

[34]   A. Watson, L. Alessa and B. Glaspell, “The Relationship between Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Evolving Cultures, and Wilderness Protection in the Circumpolar North,” Conservation Ecology, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2003, p. 2.
http://www. consecol.org/ vol8/iss1/ art2

[35]   G. Boucher, C. Conway and E. V. Der Meer, “Tiers of Engagement by Universities in their Region’s Development,” Regional Studies, Vol. 37, No. 9, 2003, pp. 887-889. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0034340032000143896

[36]   D. Buss, “Secret Destinations. Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education,” A Conference Organised by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in Collaboration with the Higher Education Academy, Cardiff, 8-10 January 2007.

[37]   O. Zbyranyk, “Collaboration between Researchers and Biosphere Reserve Practitioners: A Case Study of Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, Canada,” Thesis, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, 2012.

[38]   L. Schultz and C. Lundholm, “Learning for Resilience? Exploring Learning Opportunities in Biosphere Reserves,” Environmental Education Research, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2010, pp. 645-663.

[39]   P. K. Ankomah and R. T. Larson, “Education Tourism: A Strategy to Strategy to Sustainable Tourism Development in Sub-Saharan Africa,” 2000.

[40]   J. Coria and E. Calfucura, “Ecotourism and the Development of Indigenous Communities: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” Ecological Economics, Vol. 73, 2012, pp. 47-55.

[41]   M. Galliford, “Touring ‘Country’, Sharing ‘Home’: Aboriginal Tourism, Australian Tourists and The Possibilities for Cultural Transversality,” Tourist Studies, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2010, pp. 227-244.

[42]   A. Habibah, J. Hamzah, I. Mushrifah, A. Buang, M. E. Toriman and K. Jusoff, “The Success Factors of Public Consultation in the Establishment of a Biosphere Reserve -Evidence from Tasik Chini,” World Applied Science Journal, Vol. 13, 2011, pp. 74-81.

[43]   A. Habibah, I. Mushrifah, J. Hamzah, M. E. Toriman, A. Buang, K. Jusoff, M. J. Mohd Fuad, A. C. Er and A. M. Azima, “Assessing Natural Capital for Sustainable Ecotourism in Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve,” Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-9.

[44]   A. Habibah, R. Mohamed, I. Mushrifah, J. Hamzah, M. N. Aimi Syairah and A. Buang, “Positioning University as Knowledge Ecotourism Destination: Key Success Factors,” International Business Management, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2012, pp. 32-40.